After Dirk Nowitzki's big-time Game 1 in the Western Conference Finals, it got me thinking about his place in NBA history.
He's always been a high level player, won an MVP in 2007 and took his team to the Finals in 2006 (where along the way they had to knock off a tough defending champ in San Antonio in 7 games before getting beaten by the Heat screwed by the refs).
If he winds up leading the Mavericks to an NBA Championship this year, does he surpass KG as a better all-time player? Both players were consistently knocked about their playoff failures for the majority of their early careers. Both players won an MVP (KG in 2004). KG won his title by teaming in Boston with other legit players, making the Celtics the best team he ever played for. His best Timberwolves bunch was with Sprewell and Cassell in 2004. But that team also started Trenton Hassell at the small forward.
As for Dirk, who has he really ever had? He had Nash prior to his MVP seasons in Phoenix. He had Findog, who could ball and was definitely an all-star level player in his prime. He has an over-the-hill Jason Kidd now. The 2006 team, he didn't have a clear-cut second best player (Jason Terry or Josh Howard?).
I'm sure to take a lot of flak for this but if Dirk leads the Mavericks to the championship this year, I say his career trumps KGs. It means he had 2 Finals Appearance and 1 Title as being the alpha dog and leading a team. KG wasn't the clear alpha-dog on the 2008 Celtics. However if Dallas falls short again, and both of their careers continue down the same path, I'm probably keeping KG a touch above Dirk. What's your take?